Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Working with Shakespeare

Thanks to Esmeralda and Polka Dot, I am retelling Romeo and Juliet is my screenplay project this month. This is giving me some unique challenges.

As I've mentioned, before I am a huge Shakespeare fan. Romeo and Juliet, however, is not my favorite play and West Side Story's retelling may have scarred me forever. ;-)

I just don't know what Shakespeare was trying to say with this play.
Is Romeo and Juliet's romance serious, even from the beginning? It seems so over the top. And Romeo and Juliet are the victims of the play--they do not drive a lot of the events like majority of Shakespeare's tragedies.

I feel like Shakespeare play retellings should stick with the message he was trying to communicate...but when I'm not sure what that was, I'm lost.

So, how do I cope with this? Could I mix two Shakespeare plays to spice things up and create something more original?

There are several similarities and contrasts in Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet that have always fascinated me. Could I combine these?
What if Romeo and Juliet were not the victims of the play, but truly drove some of the conflict?

I think my story is going to stray from many of the themes of Romeo and Juliet, but I hope I can still keep its essence. I also hope I can explore and borrow from Hamlet, which happens to be one of my favorite plays. ;-)

We'll see. I still have 9/10 to go in my script. I keep reminding myself this is an exercise and that it will not and would not be the next box office sellout. If I can keep my mood light while I am writing, the story will come much easier. And I can always edit, even major plot elements. Right?

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian


Jemimah C. said...

The retelling of Romeo and Juliet? That sounds wonderful!

Edith F. said...

Yes, yes, you've got to believe in editing! It took me a long time to get there, but once I did, it helped my first drafts tremendously. First drafts are for chopping up and mixing up and turning upside down and redoing completely. : ) It helps so much not to take them too seriously.

I'm very intrigued by the concept for your screenplay, and look forward to hearing more about it.


Rosanne E. Lortz said...

Are you going to see Gnomeo and Juliet in the theaters for research?

Noah Arsenault said...

Wow! God bless! I hope your retelling goes well!

Anyway...Congrats! You have been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award! http:///

JForster said...

You should come and see Taming of the Shrew tonight! Its going to be rad.

Georgianna Penn said...

I'm also writing a script this month (Script Frenzy is awesome), but I'm co-writing with a friend of mine. Seeing as how this month is one of the busiest in both our lives, we agreed from the beginning we weren't going to stress about it. We would just write and have fun, and not care if it turns into trash. It's our first screenplay, we're probably the only ones who will ever see it.
Anyway, I think because of this we've had a lot more fun with it then we would have before. We take it seriously, but we can afford to relax and laugh a little. It's awesome.

Georgianna Penn said...

Oh! I forgot to add, I think mixing to Shakespeare plays would be awesome! You should totally go for it!

Hayden said...

I never really like Romeo and Juliet, either, but I enjoyed Hamlet very much. A combination of the two plays would be really interesting! I've never thought about that being done before- I say, go for it!

The Director said...

Hey, good luck! I like the blending idea-- doing a Hamlet-meets-Romeo-and-Juliet ;) Whatever you do, don't take it too seriously :) Have fun with it.

The Odd Fish said...

Mixing two or more Shakespeare plays sounds like a neat idea. Hope you enjoy writing your script! :)